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London: Dante’s Inferno illustrated by Botticelli


For the first time in London, on 16 November, it will be possible to admire a decorated example of the first edition of the Divine Comedy, printed in 1481 in Florence, with 20 engravings based on drawings by Sandro Botticelli. To conclude the celebrations for the Year of Dante, the Italian Ambassador in London, Raffaele Trombetta, is opening the doors of the residence for an extraordinary event: ‘The most beautiful Inferno – Dante illustrated by Botticelli’. For the occasion, the results of the Dante Project by the Polonsky Foundation will be presented. This project is a journey through time to discover the first copies of the Divine Comedy and their owners, in a census of all the copies still in existence, to discover who the first readers of the Supreme Poet were and how they annotated their books. Two illustrative videos will take visitors into Dante’s world: in the first, Jon Snow and Zeinab Badawi give voice to the verses of the Divine Comedy that inspired Botticelli; the second reconstructs the history of Dante’s first readers and what they wrote on their books – recipes, accounts, and other notes.